Well. That was interesting.
As fans began to file into the stadium, the skies that had been clear and beautiful all day turned dark and a lighting delay was declared. Fans took cover under the stands to wait it out. Intermittent lighting slowly but surely sent fans packing. As 9 PM came and went on the planned 6 PM kickoff, all hope for football seemed lost. But about 9:30, the few loyal fans remaining stormed into the stadium in the rain, ready for some Bulldog on Bulldog action.
Despite his great performance against Arkansas, J’Mar Smith didn’t start. Ryan Higgins, who had been suspended, started, despite most fans wanting to see #8 on the field.
La Tech started strong but was held to a FG to open. On the following SC State drive, a bad snap sent the ball into the end zone. Most QB’s would jump on it. Caleb York actually kicked the ball out of the end zone. A safety either way, but this added a penalty, because kicking the ball in that manner is actually illegal.
Before long, Tech led 12-0, but mistakes were made. 3 Tech turnovers later, although Tech still led, it was suddenly 19-10.
Right before halftime, Tech was in the red zone ready to score, but Higgins made a very questionable decision to throw into coverage, and the pass was intercepted. That was too much for many students, who began chanting for J’Mar to play.
After 4 turnovers in the 1st half, Tech cleaned up in the second. Higgins continued to play but played much better. As the score opened up, Smith would eventually come in, and 3rd stringer Price Wilson got some time, too. SCST would score a couple of garbage time TD’s, but the game was decided before the 4th quarter.
Ryan Higgins would finish the game having thrown 34/52 for 409 yards and 4 TD with 2 INT. J’Mar Smith threw 4/4 for 51 yards and 1 TD, and Price Wilson threw 3/4 for 58 yards.
The running game looked much better than last week. A host of players rushed, led by Jarred Craft who had 11 carries for 95 yards, but it was Boston Scott who scored Tech’s only rushing TD of the game.
Only Caleb York passed for SCST. He threw 14/31 for 137 yards and 2 TD. Bishop Ford scored their only rushing TD.
La Tech recorded an astounding 727 total yards (518 passing, 209 rushing). SC State recorded 293 yards (137 passing, 156 rushing).
Despite having numerous penalties and 3 turnovers last week against UCF, SC State had no turnovers and only had 3 penalties for 25 yards. The away Bulldogs definitely improved from last week.
La Tech started off looking ugly, but a clean 2nd half restores some confidence as the home team took the win, 53-24.
Hopefully the field will be dry next week as they head to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.